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Jaguars' Jones-Drew follows instructions nicely

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is tackled

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is tackled by New York Jets' Bart Scott and Shaun Ellis during the third quarter. (November 15, 2009) Credit: AP

Maurice Jones-Drew didn't figure the Jets were going to let him get in the end zone as he approached the goal line untouched with less than 100 seconds left in yesterday's game.

But instead of fighting for the final yard, Jones-Drew did what he was told. With the Jets ahead by a point, he took a knee at the 1 instead of plunging into the end zone, which would have stopped the clock and given the Jets a chance to mount a drive that could have tied or won the game.

"Coach said take a knee, so sorry to my fantasy owners, I apologize," Jones-Drew said after the Jags' 24-22 win. "I had myself today, too, so it was a tough call, but whatever it takes to get the victory."

During the two-minute warning, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio made sure to tell Jones-Drew - who finished with 123 yards on 24 carries - to hit the deck before the end zone. With the Jets down to one timeout, Del Rio correctly figured the Jets would let Jacksonville score a touchdown and try to drive down the field afterward.

Said Del Rio, "It was the opportunity to do the smart thing and kick what amounts to an extra point and not give them the ball back."

The way the Jaguars' offense, which produced touchdowns on three of its first four drives, had sputtered to a halt in the second half, there didn't seem much chance that the Jags would be in such a position.

But quarterback David Garrard hit three big throws, third-down completions to rookies Zach Miller and Mike Thomas and the killer, a 33-yard strike to tight end Marcedes Lewis to set up a first down at the Jets' 14 with two minutes left.

"I knew there was no safety in the middle of the field because I saw them talking before the ball was snapped. It looked like one was just a little bit off," Garrard said. "I thought if I could pump him and get my eyes back as fast as I can, hope Marcedes will be just one-on-one with someone . . . Luckily, he was almost wide open."

Then it was up to Jones-Drew to fight every instinct he has.

"Never. That's a first," he said of stopping short of the end zone. "It's all about the victory. It was just a team effort, and I didn't want to be the one to just go out there and just try to score, I wanted to be the one to seal the victory."

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